At 27 years old and after years of relying on Starbucks, I have to admit I don't know how to make a proper cup of coffee. The world of coffee is pretty intimidating. There are too many options and methods to choose from, and I barely know the difference between cappuccinos, lattes, macchiatos, and the works. Luckily, Keurig made it easy with its lineup of pod-based machines. The brand's latest launch brings convenience to making artisanal coffeehouse drinks at home. The K-Café Smart Coffee Machine ($250) is a smart brewer with a built-in milk frother and an accompanying app that will make anyone who loves indulging in a cup of coffee embrace their inner barista.
What I Like About the Keurig K-Café Smart Coffee Machine
Keurig's first foray into the smart-coffee-machine realm is the K-Supreme Plus Smart Coffee Maker, which is also an editor favorite. The main difference between the K-Supreme model and the K-Café model is the built-in milk frother. As someone who needs some type of creamer or milk in my coffee at all times, the frother is something I really appreciated. It's easy to use and maintain all while being whisper quiet and mess free. Just pour your milk of choice between the min and max line, and select your froth level. It has three speed settings and one cold setting for iced drinks. To clean, I just remove the whisk and lightly sponge the inside with soapy water and let it dry.
Just like the K-Supreme Plus Smart Coffee Maker, this model is equipped with BrewID technology. The brewer can instantly recognize the specific brand and roast of the K-cup pod, then automatically customize the brew settings to the recommendations of the coffee expert who created it. However, you can make it your own and customize it to your liking as well. Choose from five strengths, six temperatures, four brew sizes, brewing over ice, and single or double coffee-shot options. You can do all of this via the machine or the Keurig app.
The Keurig app is where convenience comes into play. It has Barista Mode, where you can get inspiration and easy-to-follow recipes to create some delish cafe-style hot, iced, or specialty brews like cappuccinos, lattes, and more. The app gives you recommendations based on the K-Cup pod you loaded up in your Smart Coffee Maker. As someone who doesn't know much about making coffee, this is something I loved since it made experimentation a lot more approachable. The app lets you schedule your brews to coordinate with your daily routine, whether it's your morning eight-ounce cup of joe or a midday iced coffee pick-me-up. I've been taking full advantage of this feature, especially in the morning when I'm brushing my teeth practically half asleep.
What's Worth Noting About the Keurig K-Café Smart Coffee Machine
With this coffee machine, you can schedule brews ahead of time. All you need to do for prep is place a K-cup pod in the K-Café Smart Coffee Machine and a mug on the drip tray the night before. However, you should not put your milk of choice in the frother ahead of time for obvious health and safety concerns. What I like to do is schedule my coffee to brew during my morning routine. When I'm ready to sip, I put my milk of choice in the frother, let it do its thing, and top off my coffee with frothy goodness. If you're using plant-based milk, use the frother on the second or third speed setting. It will give it more of a creamy taste and texture.
Although the K-Café Smart Coffee Machine isn't bulky, it is not the slimmest in the Keurig lineup. Make sure you have enough counter space or tabletop for it since it is 11-inches wide and needs around 18 inches of height clearance. If you have limited countertop space, I recommend getting a small bar cart and creating your own coffee and tea station in your home.
The smart coffee machine lets you create a wide assortment of iced drinks, just be sure to put in enough ice to offset the brew temperature. I like to fill my mug or cup with two-thirds of ice and froth my milk on the cold setting (snowflake) to ensure my coffee stays ice cold.
You can also take the drip tray out to fit larger tumblers and travel mugs.
Who the Keurig K-Café Smart Coffee Machine Is Best For
The Keurig K-Café Smart Coffee Machine prioritizes convenience and customization, and for a coffee-lover, it's a true masterpiece. It's ideal for multitaskers juggling it all, whether it's multiple projects and meetings, parenting, or running errands and chores. With the ability to schedule brews and remotely customize them, I'm able to enjoy a cup of coffee without spending too much time on it.
If you're too busy to go through the motions of brewing a cup of coffee or just love a streamlined, automated routine, this Smart Coffee Machine lets you pretty much have a sleek Starbucks on your countertop. Plus, it can brew more than just coffee, including tea or hot cocoa.
Is the Keurig K-Café Smart Coffee Machine Worth the Splurge?
The Keurig K-Café Smart Coffee Machine is definitely worth the splurge if you're a coffee drinker who frequents the Starbucks app as much as TikTok. You can create and customize your craft coffees, teas, and other beverages Keurig offers. Instead of paying $5 to $10 per coffee, you'll be saving in the long run with this one-time investment. It streamlines your daily coffee routine without compromising on quality. Plus, who doesn't want to sip on a freshly brewed coffee all prepped and ready for you when you get out of bed?!
The big advantages of this brewer are its smart features that allow you to create and schedule your ideal cup right from your phone. The powerful yet quiet milk frother is a huge bonus to level up your coffee and truly make it a barista experience. If you already have a Keurig machine, this would be the ideal upgrade. It's something that every coffee-lover will appreciate, and it makes for a perfect gift.
Where Is This Keurig K-Café Smart Coffee Machine Available?